Govt. to purchase paddy from farmers at competitive prices

The Cabinet of Ministers has given the approval to purchase paddy from local farmers at competitive prices with the private sector under the rice purchasing program for Maha Season of 2020-2021.

It was also decided to maintain the price of Nadu at Rs. 98 per kilogram in the future without making any changes despite paddy being purchased at a higher price, the Department of Government Information said.

Speaking on the rice purchasing program, Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage stressed that private rice mill owners will not be allowed to increase prices arbitrarily.

He explained that private rice mill owners purchase paddy from farmers at Rs. 52 when the government decided to make the purchase at Rs. 50. “The mill owners purchase nearly 80% of the rice stocks at Rs. 52 and the remaining 10% or 5% at a price between Rs. 65-70. They then urge the government to allow them to sell rice for Rs. 125 per kilogram claiming they bought it for Rs. 70.” He said this practice had been going for a long period of time.

Minister Aluthgamage noted that the prices of rice will not be permitted to exceed Rs. 100, adding that government will bear the loss incurred from the procurement process.

Agriculture Minister went on to say that the government is purchasing the largest paddy reserve from the farmers for the first time in the country’s history.

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